UN food agency uses Rugby World Cup for hunger drive

ROME - The United Nations World Food Programme has used the huge profile of the Rugby World Cup to draw attention to the millions going hungry, with a cross-media global awareness campaign by Italian design agency Deepend.

The WFP's huge 6x1 metre banners, carrying the web address tacklehunger.com, featured in all 11 stadiums of the tournament, with the aim of driving traffic to the website which highlights the fact that some 800m people worldwide suffer from malnutrition.

The Deepend-designed site has a rugby theme with fast-moving Flash animation and raw sound-effects. The content of the site however highlights WFP's hunger awareness campaign with grainy typography and textured backgrounds to fit in with the 'hands on' approach of the UN agency.

Visitors to the site can get information on world hunger, find out about the Food Aid programme, take part in competitions and donate to the WFP.

It also features Tackle Hunger ambassador and former RWC-winning captain Nick Farr-Jones, who has led publicity for the campaign, including a rugby match between a team of world-class players versus sports journalists.

Rome-based Deepend's current clients include the Swatch Group, Benetton, Edison Energia and Peroni SpA, as well as the WFP.

The World Food Programme, set up by the UN in 1963, fed 72m people in 82 countries in 2002, including most of the world's refugees and internally displaced people.

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